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Sample Strategy for Cost-Effective Technologies Selection

In cold climates, the primary target end-use is Space Heating. One of the strategies is to reduce thermal loads on the heating equipment. Given the community, climate, and cost, this strategy can be evaluated as affordable and viable and can then be implemented using the following two approaches.

  1. Improve efficiency of envelope (insulation and windows).
    The purpose of insulation is to reduce the amount of heat that flows from a unit through the walls and ceilings to the cold outside air. By reducing this heat loss, wall insulation reduces the amount of energy needed to heat the unit. Wall insulation can also save on cooling costs and reduce overheating in the summer.

    Primary types of insulation to consider include:
    • Fiberglass batt insulation,
    • Sprayed or blown insulation, and
    • Rigid board insulation.
  2. Reduce air infiltration.
    Air leakage is a major source of heat loss from a unit. Controlling air leakage through a combination of weather-stripping and strategic sealing of these holes using caulk can significantly reduce the amount of heat lost to the outside, thus reducing the amount of energy needed to heat the unit.

    Methods of air leakage control could include:
    • Weather-stripping. This flexible strip seals a gap between the stationary and moveable parts of the door or window. The strip can be made of rubber, plastic, or metal. In general, all operable windows and doors leading to the outside should be weather-stripped.
    • Air sealing. Air sealing is accomplished by strategically applying caulk to holes, gaps, cracks, penetrations, and electrical receptacles and around windows and doorframes. This process is best performed by an experienced technician equipped with appropriate diagnostic tools and trained to assess sources of indoor air quality problems.
    • Replace cracked windowpanes. Replace cracked or broken window panes decreases air filtration, saves on heating and cooling costs and increases homeowner comfort level.

In this example, the grantee must evaluate the economic and technical viability of each measure with a qualified energy analysis. Upon this analysis, the grantee can decide which method or combination of methods is most appropriate for the rehabilitation project.